In most cases, a restaurant is simply a restaurant. Sometimes, though, a restaurant is so much more. Take themed restaurants for example. Placing the concept of the restaurant above all else, diners are treated to much more than a meal. They’re treated to an unforgettable experience in a setting to match. After searching around the state, we put together this list of 10 of our favorites, which will give you the chance to do everything from dine at a New York-style pizzeria to soak up some nostalgia at an old-fashioned soda fountain.
1. Babalu Tapas and Tacos, Jackson
Head to this "I Love Lucy" themed restaurant and you’ll have the chance to indulge in gourmet tacos and Spanish style finger foods, known as tapas. Fans of the show will recognize the word "Babalu" as the name of Ricky Ricardo’s club. But the theme doesn’t end there – episodes of the classic television show are projected onto the wall of the restaurant. Visit Babalu at 622 Duling Avenue Ste. 106 in Jackson.
2. Shaggy’s, Biloxi, Pass Christian, and Gulfport
No matter which of Shaggy’s three Mississippi locations you visit, you’ll feel as if you’ve retreated to a coastal paradise. Between the seaside dining, laid back atmosphere, and abundance of fresh seafood, this beach themed eatery is a must-visit. For information on Shaggy’s Mississippi locations, click
3. Ground Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale
As the "birthplace of the blues," musically-themed restaurants can be found all over Mississippi, but none can quite compare to the Ground Zero Blues Club. Restaurant by day, club by night, Ground Zero boasts a menu full of local favorites and live music by Delta Blues musicians. Visit Ground Zero at 387 Delta Avenue in Clarksdale.
4. The Castle Restaurant, Natchez
Please note, The Castle Restaurant has permanently closed.
Part of the historic Dunleith mansion, the building that houses this restaurant once served as a carriage house. When constructed in the 18th century, it was purposely designed to look like a castle and has maintained its unique appearance despite renovations throughout the years. The regal vibe continues on the interior, complete with a menu fit for royalty. Visit the Castle Restaurant at 84 Homochitto Street in Natchez.
5. The Tomato Place, Vicksburg
Located on Highway 61, this "Caribbean themed funky little shack with a dash of New Orleans music," is unlike any place you’ve ever visited. Aside from the eclectic theme and unique exterior, the local favorite is known for serving home cooked southern favorites, real fruit smoothies, fresh squeezed lemonade, and other made-from-scratch goodies. There’s also shop filled with handcrafted gifts, arts, and other unique merchandise. Visit The Tomato Place at 3229 Highway 61 South in Vicksburg.
6. Mammy’s Cupboard, Natchez
When constructed in 1940, this 28’ tall mammy-inspired building was meant to attract tourists in town for the Natchez pilgrimage, which became increasingly popular after the release of "Gone with the Wind." The southern theme continues on the interior, where customers are treated to a fare of home-style meals and homemade pies. Visit Mammy’s Cupboard at 555 Highway 61 in Natchez.
7. Brooklyn Pizzeria, Gulfport
Brooklyn Pizzeria (Gulfport)/Facebook
If you’re looking for an authentic New York pizza experience, look no further than Gulfport’s Brooklyn Pizzeria. From the moment you arrive to the second you bite into a piece of hot, cheesy perfection, you’ll feel as if you’re actually in Brooklyn (aside from the prices, of course). Visit Brooklyn Pizzeria at 51 Hardy Court Shopping Center in Gulfport.
8. Walnut Hills, Vicksburg
Taking the concept of home style food to the next level, this Vicksburg eatery is located inside an actual house, giving diners the chance to experience true southern hospitality and local cuisine in an authentic setting. Visit Walnut Hills at 1214 Adams Street in Vicksburg.
9. Borroum’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain, Corinth
In terms of themes it doesn’t get much more authentic than Borroum’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain. The Corinth staple has been in business since 1865, and is still serving its specialty (and local favorite), the slugburger along with soda fountain classics, like root beer floats and milkshakes. Visit Borroum’s Drug Store at 604 East Waldron Street.
10. Brent’s Drugs and Soda Fountain, Jackson
Another retro eatery with an undeniable hint of nostalgia, Brent’s Drugs and Soda Fountain has been in business for decades. The old-fashioned soda fountain serves up a mix of traditional and local favorites, such as burgers, fries, milkshakes, and, it’s specialty, the egg and olive sandwich. The old-school vibe continues right down to the ordering process – upon arriving, customers grab a pencil and menu, mark their choices with an "x," and return it to the server at the counter. Visit Brent’s Drugs at 655 Duling Avenue in Jackson.
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